DIY Dust Cyclone A Traffic Cop Would Be Proud Of

Sure, having a wood shop is super handy but it also can get real dusty. Hooking up a shop vac to suck up dust coming off a wood-cutting machine works for all of 3 minutes before the vacuum’s filter gets clogged with dust. There is a solution, though, and it is called a dust separator.

A dust separator does just as its name suggests, it separates dust from air. There is a common type of dust separator made in the DIY community, it has a cone-shaped body and is generally referred to as a cyclone-style. [Dror] built his own cyclonic dust collector out of an odd object… a traffic cone. Looking at it now, we wonder why this isn’t much more common!

The dusty air enters the PVC pipe and ends up spinning around the inside of the cone. Since the dust particles have mass, they are thrown to the outside of this chamber as they spin. They loose speed and drop down into the 5 gallon bucket below. The dust-free air then outlets through the top of the dust separator which is connected to a shop vac.

You’ll notice that [Dror] decided to use threaded rod to hold his separator pieces together. While this may seem like overkill, he had tried several glues and could not get any to stick to the traffic cone!

If you’d like to get in on the dust separator action but don’t have a traffic cone, they can also be 3D printed or made from metal.

3D Printed Cyclone Dust Separator


[Nicholas] has been reading Hackaday for a few months now, and after seeing several people’s dust extractor setups, he decided to make his own 3D printed version. And he’s sharing the files with everyone!

He has a small Lobo mill which produces a lot of dust and to clean up he’s been using a small “Shark” brand vacuum cleaner. It’s a powerful little thing, but has little to no capacity which makes it rather frustrating to use. This makes it a perfect candidate for a cyclone upgrade! If you’re not familiar with cyclonic separator it’s a way of removing dust from air using vortex separation — between rotational forces and gravity, this keeps the dust out of your vacuum cleaner and means you never need to change another filter!

Using Autodesk inventor he designed this 4-stage cyclone separator. It’s made for a 1.75″ OD vacuum hose (the Shark standard) but could be easily modified for different vacuums. We’ve seen lots of cyclone separators before, but this 3D printed one certainly makes it easier to fabricate to exacting standards!

Beer mini-kegs turned into a cyclonic dust collector

[Darrell] made his own cyclonic dust separator which connects to a shop vac. We’re amused by his poke at Dyson’s marketing machine where he mentions that the ads say it took years to perfect those vacuum cleaners and he managed to put his together in a few hours…. from trash/recyclables no less!

Two mini-kegs are used as the separating vessel. The only other parts are some PVC plumbing fittings which help to direct the air and give him a way to attach the collector to the shop vac. The top keg is where all of the magic happens. Air and debris is sucked in through the hose coming in the side wall. A 45 degree elbow directs it downward and to the side, which starts the cyclonic action. The shop vac is attached to the tube in the top, with a cylinder extending into the keg. The spinning air must make a sharp turn to get into that cylinder; it’s at this point the debris drops out into the lower keg. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen dust collectors that use this concept. [Darrell] pointed out this one made out of plastic cups, and this other made from a 5-gallon bucket.

Continue reading “Beer mini-kegs turned into a cyclonic dust collector”